EstiMate's Plugins are where the rubber meets the road.The plugins are entire sign pricing programs that integrate into EstiMate.
Plugins are the actual pricing screens that are found in EstiMate. Each plugin is devoted wholeheartedly to one particular process you do in your shop.
This means that you don't have to make an "18x24 Vinyled Aluminum Sign" one item in your software (the way you have to do in more generic quoting software), but can instead use the Vinyl Signs plugin to quote any kind of Vinyl Sign you may need to make.
In taking you on a tour of the parts of a plugin, we'll use the Flatbed Digital Printing plugin as our example. Keep in mind that a lot of what you'll see here applies to all the pricing plugins available with EstiMate.
Important: remember that any dollar figures will be different for your shop because EstiMate's pricing is tailored to your specific needs and market area. In this example we are only really looking at how the Flatbed Printing Plugin works.
For starters, you select the print media you are printing on (note the sheet size to the right - that shows the size of the sheet you purchase and figures into the material waste calculations).
Once you've selected the print media, you move on to the print specs. In this case, we've set up a print as follows:
Surface prep for this job is set as a simple alcohol wipe, 30 minutes for RIP time, and basic trimming - just cutting the prints out of the 4'x8' sheets.
Once this is done, we can click on the Material Waste Calculations tab and see how material wastes are being factored in.
Material wastes are carefully calculated so that you know exactly what your drop is and how you want to charge the customer for scrap material.
The options are:
As you can imagine, this can make a big difference in the charges for a job!
In a nutshell, templates allow you to save any job you do as a "template" for quick access. If you scroll back up to the plugin screen on this page, you'll see that the templates button is located at the top right of the plugin screen. We've saved the 24x36 Styrene Prints here as an example of how this can be done.
Then, when you click on that template item, everything on the pricing screen is automatically filled in for you.
Upcharges are where you add additional items to a quote. These will add either a percentage to the job or time to the design and/or production times.
You can have as many upcharges in the system as you like and quickly add them to any quote.
The design and production times indicate how long the job will take to complete. In this case, the 1 hour of production time is based on the default (15 minutes is what we have set up here) plus the 45 minute upcharge for scanning and cleaning up the logo.
The production time is based on how long it will take to prep and load each sheet, print them, and trim them.
The subjective sliders on EstiMate's plugin screens are ways to "tweak" your pricing (though they will rarely even need to be used). In a nutshell, the sliders are as follows:
You can see an example of a hard numbers screen in the Quote section of our tour.
Essentially, the "Hard Numbers" are an on-the-fly P&L statement for anything you price and can be accessed by clicking on the word "Total" on the plugin screen.
The configuration screen for the plugins offer you many settings to control the plugin's behavior, including the market level settings mentioned in the Subjectives section above.
Common settings found here are cutting - weeding - masking - mounting times, base design and production times, default printers and cutters, trimming time, and the like.
Every plugin's configuration settings are specific to the plugin in question and can be accessed by clicking the "configure" button at the top right of the plugin screen.